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March 17, 2014 AT 4:00 pm

This interactive map tells you exactly how far you live from a nuclear power plant

The Smithsonian posted this interactive map from Esri that tells you how close you are to a nuclear power plant. Adafruit is 37.73 miles from Indian Point, where 2 active reactors live. The map even takes you the information page for each plant.

Quick: where’s the nearest nuclear power plant?

This is probably not a question you’re asked all that often. But it’s one worth knowing the answer to for a couple of reasons: the basic value in knowing where some of your electricity comes from and, in the extremely unlikely event of a meltdown, the practical knowledge of whether you’ll have to evacuate your home.

Currently, official U.S. emergency response plans call for anyone living within 10 miles of a plant to evacuate, but recommend for anyone within 50 miles to take protective measures, as local food and water supplies may be contaminated. Recently, some have have argued that the evacuation zone should be extended this far as well—and in 2011, after the Fukushima disaster in Japan, authorities from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission recommended that Americans living within 50 miles of the plant to evacuate.

This is where a new nuclear proximity interactive map by Esri (one of their many cool disaster response maps) comes in handy. Scroll around to see the 65 active nuclear plants scattered across the U.S. surrounded by 10-mile (red) and 50-mile (yellow) radiuses, or plug in your address to get the exact distance you are from the nearest few plants. (Smithsonian.com’s office, in case you’re wondering, is 44.18 miles from the Calvert Cliffs plant in southern Maryland.) You can also turn on layers that show the locations of historic earthquakes and fault lines, to visualize the theoretical risk of an accident.

Read more.


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2 Comments

  1. They appear to use nuclear plant and nuclear reactor to mean the same thing. But I live close to the MIT reactor, which doesn’t come up on the map. In my mind (may be alone here…), it would qualify as a “nuclear reactor” but not as a “nuclear plant” because it doesn’t produce commercial power.

    Anyway, I’m not worried… 🙂

  2. Thanks, but does not work. It complains that I am not in the US 🙁

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